Home Improvement and Renovation Projects to Avoid

Home renovations
Many home owners try to add value to their investment and make it more valuable. People hope that through renovations and alterations they add value to their home. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Real estate agents and appraisers agree that many such changes add little to no value, while in some cases accomplish the opposite effect, dragging down the value of a home.

On the other hand, you don't want a lack of upkeep to have a negative impact on your home and its value. When you decide to start a renovation or addition project, the best way to avoid mistakes is to think like a buyer. What are such mistakes? Here are a few examples, but keep in mind that the list of renovation or improvement projects that can hurt the value of a home is much longer:

  • it is easy to over do it for the neighborhood you live in, turning your home into a pricey outlier;
  • invest a bunch of money into a single project while the rest of the house remains untouched;
  • remodel the home too much by the personal taste and style;
  • additions to the home that are not functional and mess up with the floor plan;
  • be cheap by adding the disastrous above-ground pool that no home buyer loves.

Since today's typical buyers plan to live in their homes for just five to seven years, it is more important than ever to consider resale when making home improvements. Read this article to learn more about 14 home project faux-pas and tips on how to avoid them.

Holidays Are The Best Time For Successful Realtors to Ready Themselves For 2014

If you are a real estate agent you may wrongly believe that holidays are the best time to turn off your cell phone, put aside the laptop and forget about your real estate business. You couldn't be further from the truth, as this article on Inman News points out.
The end of the year is a great time to reflect back on the ups and downs of real estate in 2013. It is also a great time to set things in order for a great start for your real estate business in 2014.
In case you wonder what can you spend the precious holidays time on, here are some activities successful realtors put on their list: real estate business health check; contacts database cleanup; web site content review; home office clean-up; holiday prospecting and network expansion. As you can see the list is pretty long and for a good reason: you want to give yourself a clean and strong start in 2014. How else can you be a successful real estate agent next year? Let your competitors rest for the holidays while you set the ground for a nice "eat-my-dust" start.
Once you have everything on that list covered, take care of two more things: revise (or write, you have not yet done this) a business plan for your real estate business, and re-examine your market niche. Establish clear objectives for 2014 and make sure you spend your time and effort chasing the buck in the right niche.
Read the entire article here...

5 Predictions for the Evolution of the Residential Real Estate Market in 2014

It's that time of year, the time when we all begin to reflect on the year we leave behind and look for what the future may hold. That even holds true for the real estate market! Housing market recovery in 2013 was anything but weak and the upward trend will continue through 2014.

According to ”5 Housing Predictions for 2014"  published on the real estate section of the MSN network: "National numbers can tell a story about the economy in general, but home prices, inventory and foreclosure activity depend on local market conditions."

Price gains are expected to slow while inventory will grow next year. A few factors in the real estate market will bring a balance between buyers and sellers: "While positive trends, such as increasing home values, are expected to continue into 2014, mortgage rates are also expected to rise in the coming year and could put a damper on homebuyers' abilities to afford new homes." Here are briefly the five predictions for the 2014 real estate market. Make sure you read the full article to get a better understanding of each of them:
  1. Housing  inventory to rise back to seasonal levels
  2. More residential properties to return to a state of positive equity
  3. Rising mortgage rates
  4. Number of homes entering foreclosure process to decrease
  5. Housing affordability continues to decline
The future of the U.S. housing market in 2014 is bright, despite predictions made by some economists that buying a home in 2014 will be less affordable.  Click here to read more about the 5 housing predictions and what is in the bag for real estate in 2014.